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Real Madrid 4-2 UD Almeria: Ancelotti’s men bounce back from Girona defeat, score four in six-goal encounter.

Carlos Ancelotti and Real Madrid recorded a 4-2 victory over UD Almeria 4-2 on Saturday evening, to temporarily cut Barcelona’s lead at the top of the La Liga table to eight points.

Los Blancos returned to winning ways at the Santiago Bernabeu, a 4-2 away defeat to Girona on Tuesday having ended a four-game unbeaten run and four consecutive clean sheets for the club.

Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick to move up to seventeen La Liga goals this season and to keep up the pursuit of Barcelona"s Robert Lewandowski in the race to land the Pichichi at the end of the campaign.

The hosts took the lead in the 5th minute. Vinicius found the ball on the left flank, outdoing Houboulang Mendes, the Brazilian darted into the opposition box, feeding a well positioned Karim Benzema for an easy finish.

Los Blancos doubled twelve minutes later. Lucas Vasquez released Rodrygo on the right flank with a through pass. Rodrygo did well to win his duel against Samu Costa eventually getting away from his marker. The Brazilian cut a pass back to Benzema, the latter"s right-footed shot from more than six yards out beating Fernando Martinez"s dive.

Benzema completed his hat-trick four minutes from halftime. Ramazani brought Lucas Vasquez down in the penalty area and the Frenchman stepped up to the spot, perfectly dispatching it and sending the keeper the wrong way.

The hosts were not to head to the dressing room with their clean sheet intact however. Almeria pulled one back on the brink of halftime. Sergio Akeme played Ramazani through, the latter in the box squared past the defenders and Lazaro Vinicius latched on to it with a simple tap-in.

Madrid restored the three-goal lead two minutes after the break when Dani Ceballos" pass found Rodrygo in a slightly advanced position. With a reasonable amount of space, the winger turned at the opposition before picking his spot from outside the box with a confident, lethal shot into the top-right corner of the goal.

Almeria then cut back the lead a minute past the hour-mark. Toni Kroos carelessly gave the ball away via a miscalculated pass aimed towards Mendy. Lazaro Vinicius got on the end of it, Francisco Portillo delivered a clean, short cross and Lucas Robertone powered home an header, despite contact with Courtois" hand.

Madrid had a number of wonderful opportunities to put more goals in the back of their opponents" net. Two minutes after the hosts had scored their second, Los Blancos had a goal ruled out for offside on the other end of the pitch. Karim Benzema in the box opened up beautifully for Vasquez on his right. The latter delivered a sublime cross to the centre and Rodrygo connected with a diving header that struck the bar and went in off the post. Later, Madrid didn"t have a VAR decision go their way when Cuadra Fernandez refused to give out a penalty, Benzema appearing to have been tripped by Fernando Martinez in the box in the 79th minute.

It was the woodwork to the rescue for Almeria seven minutes later when Camavinga"s back pass to Benzema saw the Frenchman"s low right-footed shot strike the left post and then come off the line.

Los Blancos then had another strike called off for offside in the 89th minute of gameplay. Eduardo Camavinga relieved the pressure by playing Vasquez on the left flank. Darting into space, he received Vasquez"s scooped cross and buried the ball with a diving header of his own but Vasquez was unfortunately behind the last Almeria man when Camavinga made the pass.
Marco Asensio then struck the bar a minute later when Benzema"s opened up a shooting opportunity for him. The visitors were hugely let off by the referee"s whistle at full time and Madrid secured the 4-2 win over their opponents.

What"s next?

The result sees Madrid eleven points behind Barcelona unchanged from game-week 31 where booth sides recorded defeats. Madrid have to win at least four games while Barcelona lose the same if they are to overturn the 11-point deficit at the top of the table and win the league which looks pretty impossible. The hosts have a difficult May ahead of them. They travel to Sociedad on Tuesday, play Osasuna in the Copa Del Ray final on Saturday before hosting Manchester City at the Bernabeu in the Champions League the following Tuesday.

Almeria"s loss to the Spanish giants sees them stay only two points clear of relegation troubles. If sixteenth-placed Valencia win against Cadiz on Sunday and Getafe also prevail over Espanyol, Indálicos would drop to 17th position in the league.

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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